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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tasty Toons Town III

My friend Abbey, who I mentioned in my Italy: Florence post, is living in New York City for a few months with her Mom while her Mom takes pastry classes at the Institute of Culinary Education. 

Emma, Abbey and I grew up riding horses together for years. It was great to reunite in New York City as adults with careers and our own apartments! Last week Emma decided she would like to have a dinner party at her Brooklyn Heights abode and invited Abbey and her Mom Terri and myself.

I got a sneak peak at the menu when I asked if she needed me to bring anything. I was immediately excited when I read the words Wild Mushroom Risotto. There is something about the Wild in front of the mushroom that makes it more exciting. 

Oliver and I debated and then decided since we were skipping spin class, it was a good idea to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to Emma's instead of taking the subway. It was a beautiful cool night and Oliver was a rock star. We made it to Emma's in thirty minutes with an appetite the size of an elephant's. 

Emma chose the Wild Mushroom Risotto from Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.

Emma prepared together all of the ingredients while I set the table. Of course I was back in her bubble to snap some pictures shortly after. 

1 Chop the Pancetta

2 Remove all stems from Mushrooms and chop. 

Oliver was right there too! We were probably quite the annoying pair!

3 Chop Shallots

Emma is one serious pro at chopping. I had to catch her in action! 

Oliver watched the entire time. 

4 Place two pots on the stove. Fill one with Chicken Stock and heat. Keep Chicken Stock warm.

About this time, Abbey and her Mom arrived and I began to chat more than watch. I would highly recommend reading the directions from here on out. Although, I can describe the basic routine.

5 Add ingredients into second pan and add some of the warming Chicken Stock to ingredients while continuing to stir.

6 Continue to stir and add more of the warming Chicken Stock. 

7 Repeat above and don't forget to keep stirring!

8 Voila! 

Emma asked if I would bring over mixed greens, a red onion and a pear. During our apple picking excursion, we happened to pick a few pear's as well which then knocked pear off the list. 

She quickly whipped up a delicious mixed green salad with red onion, walnuts, blue cheese and pear topped with a light olive oil based dressing. 

Terri brought over some of her fabulous pastries from class. Which included these adorable mini chocolate ganache tarts. 

A raspberry filled cake topped with almond slivers. 

And a pecan stuffed cake. 

Everyone absolutely had to try all three! They were so mouth watering delicious. My favorite, the pecan cake! The filling almost had a toffee caramel taste to it which added a nice flavor and crunch along with the pecans! 

More Tasty Toons Town recipes to come! 


  1. Had such an amazing time dining w/ y'all! Lexi, you have to send me the iPhone app you use to take these pictures. Can't wait until our next date, I've already been scoping out recipes for hosting on our side of town!

  2. OMG-that looks like an amazing dinner!!! Wish I could've been there to enjoy!!

  3. Elle-PinkPlainAngelOctober 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM! I am hungry just seeing all the delicious pictures! I need to learn how to make this quick! The Mushroom Risotto looks absolutely delicious! Those pastries must have tasted so good as they look fabulous! Another hit with us Alexis! Thank u for sharing!

  4. I'm a very picky eater, but I would eat that risotto! You always have the nicest meals and desserts. Do you even own a microwave? :P